Sophomore golfer Lani Potter spoke very confidently the day before the Lady Eagles’ Division I-A state tournament match about her ability to play sound golf on her home course.
On Oct. 22, it looked like Potter’s poise heading into the biggest round of her young prep career had paid off.
The sensational sophomore, who held the low score in six of her eight matches leading into the Oct. 22 final, including finishing no worse than fifth in the season, said that she felt comfortable playing for a state title on her home course because of the familiarity she gained throughout multiple practice runs this season. That familiarity Potter talked about was certainly on display throughout the two-round match.
Taking the low score for round one with a 74 on a par 72 course, Potter stated her case for the state’s most improved golfer, besting last year’s state final round one score of 87.
Potter would eventually fall behind last year’s state champion runner-up, Faith Lutheran sophomore Sydney Smith, after shooting a 75 for round two, but still trimmed 25 strokes off of last year’s 10th-place finish to supplant herself as this year’s state champion runner-up. For the conclusion of the event, Smith would pull three strokes ahead of Potter after shooting a 67 in round two to finish with a score of 146, while Potter finished with an overall score of 149.
“It was awesome to see Lani play so well and come so close to a individual state title,” Boulder City head coach Andy Schaper said. “She played quite well throughout the state tournament, holding the lead through 27 of the 36 holes possible. She made very few mistakes throughout Thursday’s match, but just couldn’t get a few putts to drop in the final round to stay on top. She handled the pressure like a champ and I am very proud of the effort she put in throughout the entire season. A ton of good things to come in the upcoming years for her.”
While Potter finished in the top 10 for the second consecutive season at the state final, it was the Lady Eagles as a whole who made their first team appearance since their banner season in 2010.
Finishing fifth overall during the six-team final, the Lady Eagles rallied with the fourth-best score of round two with 403 to escape from Spring Creek for the final spot. Boulder City concluded the event with a score of 842, beating out the Spartans by four strokes.
“I am very proud of the way the girls played this season,” Schaper said. “We set a goal earlier this season to play in the state tournament as a team and we achieved that goal. All of the girls improved throughout the year and look forward to working on their games during the off season. With a little time and dedication to their games, we should have good reason to think we can compete for a state title next year.”
Behind Potter on Oct. 22 was rising freshman Madisan Walker and junior Lauryn Norris, who both finished the event strong for the Lady Eagles. With an overall score of 205, Walker tied for 17th place, while Norris, who played in her second state tournament, improved her previous state score by 30 strokes, finishing the event in 36th place with a score of 232.
Freshman Ryann Reese also played well, shooting a 112 on the second day of the state tournament to finish 42nd overall with a score of 256, while junior Holly Piper completed the course with a score of 314 for 45th place overall. Reese’s round of 112 was a personal best for her this season, while Piper, who’s in her first season with the club, showed promise throughout her first appearance.
“I am most proud of Holly this season because of the hard work she put in throughout the season,” Schaper said. “She went from never playing golf in August to playing in the state tournament in October. I am looking forward to seeing all of the girls improve over the next year and see where that puts us next season.”
Contact reporter Robert Vendettoli at BCRSports@gmail.com.